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Elkhart County Board of Health appoints oncologist to fill one of several vacant seats

Elkhart County Health Department
Elkhart County Health Department

The Elkhart County Board of Health announced Monday that it is appointing Dr. Houman Vaghefi to the board effective immediately. 

Vaghefi is an oncologist and the medical director of radiation oncology at the Goshen Center for Cancer Care. In a news release, the board of health said Vaghefi started seeing patients at Goshen Health in 2011 and is honored to serve on the board.

“The County Health Department has a huge responsibility in protecting and assuring the health of the public, and I’m honored to serve my community in this way,” Vaghefi said in the release.

He is also a member of the Indiana Army National Guard and currently serves on the Institutional Review Board at Goshen Health and on the Medical Board at John Patrick University.

Vaghefi’s appointment leaves two vacancies on the board, which appointed Goshen Fire Chief Danny Sink in November.

The board has experienced a lot of turnover in the past year dating back to the Elkhart County Council’s unanimous decision to reject a $3 million Centers for Disease Control grant that would have funded community health workers for the county’s minority communities.

Shortly after the grant rejection in September, former chairman Dr. Randy Cammenga quit and health officer Dr. Bethany Wait announced she would resign at the end of the year.

In November, three more board members announced they would also resign at the end of the year.

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Jakob Lazzaro came to Indiana from Chicago, where he graduated from Northwestern University in 2020 with a degree in Journalism and a double major in History. Before joining WVPE, he wrote NPR's Source of the Week e-mail newsletter, and previously worked for CalMatters, Pittsburgh's 90.5 WESA and North by Northwestern.